On a final note that is both sobering and hopeful for policymakers and administrators, the researchers point out that much of the variation in achievement in their pertains to the students themselves.
The Center found, however, that certain structural changes, when combined with professional skills, leadership and trust, can substantially strengthen school professional community. Lawrence, Barbara Kent, et al. Using deregulation to increase school autonomy.
The Center developed a particular vision of high quality student learning, "Authentic Student Achievement. Longitudinal Study of School Restructuring.
Teachers are able to interact more with their faculty administrators. Schools with strong professional communities are better able to offer authentic pedagogy and are more effective in promoting student achievement.
In Philadelphia, many of the highest-performing middle schools, with achievement levels comparable to K-8 schools, are using outside partner programs designed to implement small learning communities, professional development, cooperative learning and other instructional strategies.
Students benefit equally from more authentic pedagogy regardless of their race, gender or family income. This study included a nationally representative sample of over 10, students, followed from grade 8 through grade 12 in about high schools nationwide.
Parent involvement in a broad range of school affairs.
External agencies can help schools to focus on student learning and enhance organizational capacity through three strategies: For a restructuring effort to work, it must be clearly focused on four key factors: The study offered in-depth analysis of how professional community, politics and organizational learning evolved in a diverse set of restructured schools.
The most promising examples of strong organizational capacity were found in schools that began with a well-defined mission, the authority to hire staff consistent with the mission, and effective leaders who kept the school on track.
The core activities of the school -- including curriculum development,instruction, assessment, scheduling, staff development, hiring and student advising -- aim toward that vision of student learning. Researchers also made intensive examination of mathematics and social studies instruction in about classrooms, with complete data on about 2, students.
The report can be ordered from: The American Institutes for Research is conducting a multi-year evaluation of these initiatives. American Educational Research Journal, 39 3 What other conditions tend to make such organizational innovations successful?
A small school staff size allows more opportunity for teachers to know each other well, more easily share information about their students, collaborate to solve problems, and generally support one another. This study included four-year case studies of eight schools that had embarked on different forms of restructuring in four communities.
Which works best and for whom? Educational Evaluation and Policy Analysis, 19 3 Their conclusion is based on a five-year longitudinal study of 40, eighth-grade students in the Philadelphia City School District which is implementing a policy of converting its middle schools into K-8 schools to improve math and reading achievement.
From through each school was studied intensively for one year during two weeks of on-site research. Student-teacher relationships improve, allowing teachers to more easily identify individual talents and unique needs of each student, which offers a more personalized educational experience.
Disciplined Inquiry - Using established knowledge in science, mathematics, history or literature, students develop in-depth understanding. Middle school staffs have lower rates of teacher retention, fewer experienced teachers and lower rates of certification, not only because most teachers are trained to teach at either the elementary or high school level, but teachers with more experience and seniority are more likely to transfer out of middle schools.
The schools include public, Catholic, and independent schools and represent a wide range of school enrollment, geographic settings, school social composition, as well as various levels of restructuring activity.
From tothe Center on Organization and Restructuring of Schools at the University of Wisconsin-Madison examined these questions.The large size of middle schools has been found in many studies to be detrimental to academic achievement, attendance and social engagement, the authors report.
TITLE Progress Report on Restructuring Progress in Four. Maryland Middle Schools: An RBS Report on Progress during / INSTITUTION Research for Better Schools, Inc., Philadelphia, Pa. SPONS AGENCY Office of Educational Research and Improvement (ED), Washington, DC.
First-year outcomes of a restructuring project in four Maryland middle schools are summarized in this paper, with a focus on new rules, roles, and relationships.
Methodology involved interviews with 52 teachers and building administrators and 18 state department of education staff members.
"Small schools" is the expression used for a concept for restructuring schools -- particularly high schools -- and the human relationships inside them. The optimum size for small schools varies, with many recent definitions calling for not more than students, but, based on the most frequently cited research (Lee & Smith, ), they are.
This research will begin to examine how restructuring decisions are made in the different middle schools in Coquitlam, the key factors of influence on the decision making process, and the participation of staff and parents in the decision making process.
The third edition of School Restructuring: What Works When—A Guide for Education Leaders provides information for school and district leaders to choose the intervention model that will work best to improve their schools. The guide provides objective, research-based information and highlights practical decision-making tools that take into account.Download